FBI warns Omaha parents about sextorsion against young men

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — The FBI has issued a new warning to Omaha parents after seeing an increase in reports of adults tricking children into submitting explicit content via social media.

Todd DiCaprio of the FBI calls it “sex extortion.” This is when an adult poses as a minor to manipulate children through social media platforms into submitting photos and videos of a sexual nature to sell online.

“We receive an average of one to two calls per week from a child who has been sexually exploited online,” DiCaprio said.

Eugene Cowell is an FBI agent. He said that here in Omaha they received over 18,000 sex solicitation complaints in 2021.

“We know that children accessing the internet make them vulnerable to online predators,” Cowell said.

These complaints show that young men between the ages of 14 and 17 are the most harassed by adult men who pose as young girls.

“Sex extortion can take place in a wide variety of environments: phone, tablet, computer, messaging app, game app, and online forums,” Cowell said.

The FBI has found that young males tend to be overtly active on video, and that’s when predators take every opportunity to record and then blackmail the victim.

“A person can be charged, whether it’s producing child pornography or child sexual abuse material,” DiCaprio said. “Download, Distribution and Transport”.

The maximum penalty may include life imprisonment.

The FBI has said there are ways to prevent your child from becoming a victim. First, make sure your child is careful about who they come across online. Make sure they are selective about what they share online. Finally, they need to know that people can pretend to be anything or anyone.

“We want to get the message across, work with parents, guardians and teachers to help prevent this crime before it happens, and help kids speak up when it happens,” Cowell said.

The FBI advises that if your child or someone else has been the victim of sexual extortion, contact your local FBI office.

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